The Heretic.

Raw, Unfiltered, and Candid Insights for Leading Courageously through the Unknown.

September 11th , 2023

Satisfactory Underperformance

Recently, I spoke with Professor David Beatty on the Disrupt Disruption podcast. David is a globally recognized authority on board governance. Simply put, he trains top-tier executives to become even more effective board members. During our chat, he humorously yet pointedly remarked that many executives eventually settle into a state of “satisfactory underperformance.”

“Satisfactory underperformance” describes a plateau where people aren’t necessarily failing but aren’t excelling either. The concept echoes the “Peter Principle,” a term coined in 1969 by Laurence J. Peter. It posits that people rise through an organization’s ranks based on their past performance until they reach a level where they’re no longer competent. This happens because the skills that make someone effective in one…

Continue On →